Admittedly, that’s a vague statement—a whole country? The answer is, in a way, yes. When planning the menu with Chef Ashley Rath, formerly of Santina, Hotchkiss Carone said they didn’t want Saint Theo’s to be a typical red-sauce joint. They started with a simple prompt: “What does a beach club in Italy serve at lunch?” They looked to storied seaside joints like Le Sirenuse and Il Pellicano. But they also incorporated elements of palazzo cafés and bácaris of Venice. Their final menu is delightfully diverse—cherry tomato spaghettini, tuna crudo, a Venetian-style cuttlefish in ink, and berries with whipped cream for dessert. “It’s like a grand tour of Italy,” he says. (Even the name is an homage to the country: Saint Theodore was the original patron saint of Venice before Saint Mark.)
Famed designer Martin Brudnizki–of Annabel’s fame—helped Hotchkiss Carone realize his vision for the interiors. While Brudnizki’s signature style (bronze accents, jewel-tone palette) is on full display, Hotchkiss Carone filled out the space with his own eclectic decor accents. Like American Bar, there’s a nostalgic nod: the walls are decorated in vintage Pirelli calendars from the 1990s and early 2000s—Is that a fresh-faced Sienna Miller?—as well as Venice Biennale posters. The bar is done up in terrazzo speckle, and murano glass fixtures are aplenty. A semi-private room is adorned in stained glass windows.
On a preview night, the space was packed with a starry crowd that included everyone from fashion designer Prabal Gurung to Gossip Girl’s Evan Mock. The clock ticked well past dinner time, even by European standards: 10:00, 10:30, 11:00. The clock ticked well past dinner time, even by European standards: 10:00, 10:30, 11:00. Yet, the music swelled and the negronis and spritzes kept flowing. La dolce vita, indeed.